Ministry of European Integration Commits to Furthering Gender Equality

Today Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) representatives met with the recently appointed Minister of European Integration, Mimoza Ahmetaj, and Deputy Minister of European Integration Anila Statovci Demaj to discuss opportunities for furthering gender equality in Kosovo through the work of the Ministry of European Integration.
    In addition to Minister Ahmetaj and Deputy Minister Statovci Demaj, another woman recently was appointed as Deputy Minister in this Ministry: Rita Hajzeraj Beqaj. Therefore, the Ministry of European Integration now has more women in decision-making positions than any other Ministry in Kosovo, contributing to improved gender balance in the leading positions of ministries in Kosovo.
KWN Executive Director Igballe Rogova congratulated them for their new positions and expressed KWN’s commitment to continuing to support the Ministry of European Integration, as well as other ministries, in fulfilling their obligations to further gender equality in Kosovo in accordance with the Law on Gender Equality.
    While progress has been made, more can still be done, said Minister Ahmetaj.
    KWN also discussed with Deputy Minister Statovci Demaj ways for better reflecting a gender perspective in Kosovo’s EU Accession process. More specifically, they discussed the National Program for Implementing the Stabilization and Association Agreement in Kosovo. KWN expressed its concerns that input from a gender perspective related to this Programme had not been incorporated previously. Together, they discussed ways for improving the process in close collaboration with line ministries, to incorporating an improved gender perspective in the future. Meanwhile, the Ministry agreed to review KWN’s input once more and to try to incorporate it where possible.
    In accordance with the Law on Gender Equality, KWN also asked that the Ministry of European Integration ensure that the Gender Equality Officer in this Ministry have sufficient time set aside to carry out all of her legal responsibilities. This includes adding to her job description that she will review draft laws and policies from a gender perspective and be involved in the processes of designing new policies and programs.
While agreeing to look into opportunities for clarifying the position of the Gender Equality Officer, Deputy Minister Statovci Demaj aptly noted the important role that every person in the Ministry should play, and not only the Gender Equality Officer, in ensuring that gender is mainstreamed in all policies and programs.
    KWN has supported the Ministry of European Integration in furthering gender equality in its work since 2015 and looks forward to continuing this cooperation in the future, also in close coordination with the Agency for Gender Equality and line ministries.